William Mapother

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Word (Up)!

Posted on: February 19th, 2010 by wmapother 1 Comment

So, for those of you who have been patiently, tirelessly waiting for me to do a show that children, or adults of delicate sensibilities, can safely watch, I’m thrilled to report that your sleepless nights are over.

In November 2008 I recorded an episode of ‘Wordgirl,’ thanks to the multi-hyphenated-great-guy Ryan Raddatz.  (My original blog post is here.)  This is the award-winning, funny and fantastic animated PBS show.  Each episode, the superhero Wordgirl teaches children two new vocabulary words, such as ‘economic’ or ‘meltdown.’  The ‘Wordgirl’ home page is here.  Think you can see it and not smile?  I doubt it.  : )

In my episode, “Mr. Big’s Mini-Golf,” I play Guy Rich, this handsome devil in boots.  What can I say?  The animators were very generous.

Well, apparently while I was hibernating last autumn, my episode of ‘Wordgirl’ snuck out past me and aired itself.  But never fear, it’s about to be rerun!  (Details below.)

It’s difficult to describe 1) how much fun it was to do (the producers and directors could not have been kinder), and 2) how amazing the other actors were.  I’d never been in a session like this, and I’m not exaggerating when I write that I was utterly in awe of their ability to control and manipulate their voices, even while improvising and in character.

One scene took place at a gathering of criminal masterminds, and the director asked them (the regulars on the show) to take turns improvising characters and lines.  They were off and running.  One would no sooner stop than another would begin, and from each of them, in only 10-15 words, a full — and hysterical — character emerged.  I nearly ruined the session by being laughing out loud, which I was able to avoid only because my jaw was hitting the floor.

Fortunately, we’d recorded most of my lines by that point.  I don’t think I could have followed that with anything but a squeak.

I’m not alone:  ‘Wordgirl’ just won the Kidscreen Award for Best Voice Talent.  Details here.  And toonzone.net just named it one of the Top 25 ‘Toons of the 2000’s.  Details here.

The first word of the day is humbling.

Broadcasts of the show vary somewhat among individual PBS stations, but it looks as if my episode, together with the ep “The Young and the Heartless,” will next air on March 3rd & 4th, then on April 26.  However, please check your local listings.  I suggest googling this — wordgirl “mini-golf” — along with the call letters of your local PBS station.  Also, as a reminder, over to the right at the top is the icon/link for the events calendar, which lists upcoming airings and events.

Finally, I just learned from a ‘Wordgirl’ producer that they’re waiting to hear if the show will be picked up for another year.  My suggestion:  Email Scholastic Media here to encourage them to keep Wordgirl aloft!

The second word of the day is Awesome.

Posted in TV, Voice

One Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm a little late and could only watch Lost yesterday,was good to see Ethan again 🙂

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